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Green Deal: avoiding surprises

We’ve just announced an extension to our labelling and verification services in light of the imminent launch of the Green Deal, and there is more standard setting to come.

But don’t fear: we haven’t just sprung it all on tradespeople now and expected them to pick it up in a flash. We’ve been working with those looking to get involved in making Green Deal and ECO a success for months now. No-one wants nasty surprises, and that’s exactly why robust verification needs to be in place so everyone knows exactly where they stand.

We’re building on a history of setting standards and making sure they’re hit through our Energy Saving Trust Recommended (ESTr) labelling scheme – which kicked up the importance of energy efficiency amongst industry in a way it needed to be. And with the advent of Green Deal, a greater range of products, and a different type of selling needs to be tackled and shown the value of ‘best in class’.

We’ll be checking the products going into homes, making sure the claims of those putting them in are right, and working to get the most energy-efficient measures included in Green Deal packages so that ‘golden rule’ is met – the absolute minimum to ensure things go as planned.

And we’re certainly not the only ones working hard to make Green Deal goes according to plan for all concerned. The Office of Fair Trading is also making a concerted push to improve compliance standards across the energy efficiency industry. They’ve noted some bad examples of practices, but stressed these are the minority and made it clear they’ll take action if transparency isn’t seen in sales practices.

One thing we won’t be surprised about is if many more people show an interest in getting their double-glazing done. It’s an ever-popular energy efficiency measure – one which a previous piece of research we conducted showed can really swing people in favour of getting a package of measures taken up on their home.

Our survey results released last week showed that 22 per cent of householders have purchased double glazing in the last 12 months – with 52 per cent saying they are considering doing so. But naturally, the Green Deal will only turn these considerations into realities if the right information is available, not just from organisations like ourselves, but those putting kit in homes. As our Head of Assurance Matthew Knight puts it:

“With Green Deal soon to launch there will be more businesses offering new products and services to consumers. One in five of us is confused about what to buy and yet about half of us are interested in buying new energy efficient boilers or double-glazing. This shows that consumers are crying out for guidance.”

Green Deal kicks off in earnest in less than a week. If you’ve got some specific queries to clear up, you can call our advice line on 0300 123 1234.

But from a veritable frenzy of meetings and training sessions with industry professionals and consumers of late, we’re more than aware that there are plenty more questions that people would like answers to around the Green Deal and ECO – so that’s why we’re holding a free live webinar with our top Green Deal experts.

From the basics, to the role of local authorities, how ECO fits in to the bigger picture, and what's in it for SMEs and installersEverything you need to know about Green Deal is happening on Wednesday 30 January, 1-2pm.

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.

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